I bought this album today after hearing a track on the radio and on a quick run through it is absolutely superb. I did enjoy the previous two albums but this is a step up again for me.
I have nicked this review from "Stevie Boy" on Amazon so if you are SB and want it removed let me know!
Arcade Fire have slowly grown into one of the most important bands of our era. It really does feel like they are the Beatles/Smiths/Radiohead of the 21st century. I won't even talk about Funeral (everyone knows how good it is), & Neon Bible, although criticised for it's overblown production, was a fine album indeed. The Suburbs feels part sister to both these albums & part a whole different universe. They certainly explore new territory here, throwing influences into the mix as diverse as Depeche Mode, Blondie, Neil Young & The Beach Boys as well as the usual Talking Heads/Springsteen/Pixies reference points. What you get is a fantastic modern masterpiece which is so ambitious, it's almost knowing of the fact that there are clear flaws & holes. This however doesn't matter because the high points are so damn good and lets be honest - no piece of work is perfect!
Opening with the title track, the transition between 'the Suburbs' & 'Ready to Start' is euphoric. The sweet, warbly strings of the former give way to heavy guitar riffs, pounding rock drums & electronic effects. 'Modern Man', 'Empty Room', 'We used to Wait' & 'Sprawl II' are also highlights. 'Sprawl II' is a total curveball: it's pure, unadulterated electro-pop, it's nothing like what they've done before and it's absolutely incredible! I could live without 'Half Light II' & 'Wasted Hours', but some people I know actually dig these tunes. I've no doubt that this album will go down in history & cement Arcade Fire into the rock n roll hall of fame for eternity.